Basic health care can be hard for trans people to get. A Phoenix provider explains why

By Kathy Ritchie
Published: Monday, June 26, 2023 - 10:13am
Updated: Tuesday, June 27, 2023 - 1:41pm

Ari Kravitz
Kathy Ritchie/KJZZ
Ari Kravitz is a nurse practitioner at Spectrum Medical Care.

Finding a doctor who can offer gender affirming care isn’t always easy or accessible. For the trans community, it can be a matter of life and death. Primary care is critical for trans people of all ages.

Ari Kravitz is a nurse practitioner at Spectrum Medical Care in Phoenix, which provides gender affirming health care.

"So I was assigned female at birth and transitioned to male during college," said Kravitz. "And I knew I wanted to provide primary care to the LGBTQ community."

It can be difficult for this population to get basic health care. Take, for example, a trans masculine individual who still has a cervix.

"They do still need pap smears. And that can be something that is very traumatizing and very distressing to have to go into a primary care provider and say, ‘Hey, I'm doing an annual wellness exam, I also need to get a pap smear,'" said Kravitz.

Kravitz also says trans masculine people who are over the age of 50 may need a mammogram. Trans feminine people are not exempt from those basic screenings. 

"Depending on what surgeries they've had, they need to get the standard prostate cancer screenings if they still have a prostate, testicular cancer exams," Kravitz said.

Many trans individuals avoid or postpone health care visits because of discrimination or disrespect from some providers.

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